Prince Albert falls in crime severity index rankings

Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

City’s violent crime severity index falls

Prince Albert is no longer the third most violent city in Canada.

Recent data from Statistics Canada puts the city’s violent crime severity index at 250.16, lower than Thompson, Man., North Battleford, Wetaskiwin, Alta., Meadow Lake and Portage La Prairie, Man. Prince Albert is about even with Merrit, B.C., which had a violent crime severity index of 250.14. The index fell from 256.97 a year ago to the current 250.16 number. Both the non-violent and the overall crime severity index, however, grew. Prince Albert’s crime severity index went from 243.9 to 251.46, and the non-violent crime severity index grew from 238.63 to 251.33.

The data, released Monday, is from 2017 crime numbers collected from police services.

Crime severity index (CSI) is a measure calculated by Statistics Canada by assigning different weights to each criminal violation. The weights are based on the rate and length of prison sentences handed down by the courts. The more serious the average sentence, the higher the weight for that offence.

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To calculate the measure, the weighted offences are added together and then divided by the population. It’s then standardized to a base year of 100, in this case, that base year is 2006.

Cities with higher crime rates are not necessarily those with the highest crime severity indices. For example, Meadow Lake has the second highest crime severity index but has a lower overall crime rate than Thompson, Man., which has the third highest CSI.

Of the Canadian cities with the ten highest CSIs, Prince Albert is the largest.

Elsewhere in the province, Saskatoon’s CSI rose slightly, with a small decrease in violent CSI and a small increase in non-violent crime severity.

Regina saw an 11.07 per cent drop in its Crime Severity Index, with accompanying 18.63 per cent and 8.23 per cent drops in violent and non-violent crime severity respectively.

In terms of what Statistics Canada determines as rural detachments, Waskesiu had one of the highest CSI ratings, while the Prince Albert rural area had the 61st highest Crime Severity Index.

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Numbers from the Waskesiu detachment were impacted by the community’s population, as Prince Albert National Park only has a Census population of about 156. The area ’s visitors don’t end up counting in the Crime Severity Index formula, despite the fact that in the summer thousands of people spend time in the national park, which might contribute to higher rates of crime.

Prince Albert’s rural crime severity index fell slightly, and the violent crime severity index fell by 20.65 per cent. That was offset by0 an increase in the non-violent crime severity index.